AirAsia group is slashing pilot and cabin crew jobs by 60%, considering 10% stake sale

The AirAsia group is reducing its total workforce by 30%, according to a report from Nikkei Asian Review. The AirAsia group includes its airline subsidiaries in Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Japan, and India.

This retrenchment will see the airline slashing pilot and cabin crew jobs by 60% for both AirAsia and its long-haul affiliate AirAsia X. The airline will also be slashing salaries of the remaining staff by 75% as the airline fights for survival brought by the effects of the coronavirus crisis.

According to the report also, almost all of the company's 20,000 employees have been individually re-evaluated since January based on salary scale and performance, with the lay-off expected to continue through to the end of July.

Looking for ways to raise capital

AirAsia is also evaluating different proposals on raising more capital in order to overcome the challenges brought by the pandemic. A report from Malaysian paper, The Star, said that the airline is considering a 10% stake sale to a South Korean firm named SK Group. SK Group subsequently confirmed those talks to South Korea’s Maeil Business Newspaper on 5 June, adding that it had yet to decide whether to make the equity purchase, according to FlightGlobal

Unexpected turn of events

A retrenchment was unexpected from the world's best low cost airline for 11 straight years operating from six different countries. Last April, AirAsia group chief executive Tony Fernandes committed to keep all its employees and staff amidst the pandemic.

In a statement back in April 11, Fernandes said, "we are one of the few airlines world over who has kept all of our staff on. AirAsia is a family and there are tens of thousands of Allstars who depend on the business for their livelihoods and the wellbeing of their own families."

It is just sad that AirAsia can no longer hold on to its commitment as the  name of the game is no longer about profitability, but now about survivability. 

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